Embark on a captivating journey through the charming town of Vodice, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Croatia. This comprehensive guide offers an immersive experience into the town’s rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture.
From the serene Church and Parish of St. Cross to the historic Čorić Tower, and the tranquil Male Vrulje Beach, Vodice promises a day trip filled with unforgettable moments.
Indulge in the local cuisine at family-owned restaurants, and end your day with a leisurely stroll along the bustling Vodice Riva Promenade. Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Vodice and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Morning Visit – Two Attractions
Church and Parish of St. Cross
Begin your day in Vodice with a visit to the beautiful Church and Parish of St. Cross, a monument of Croatian history and culture. This unique Gothic structure was constructed in 1402 and dedicated in 1421. It showcases a distinctive Romanesque-Gothic bowl feature, rare in Dalmatia.
Inside, intricate details await, including a stunning baroque rosette and a dedicated altar to St. Cross, a work of the famous Šibenik builder, Ivan Skoko. Don’t miss the bell tower, a 20-year project by Vicko Macanović, which stands as a testament to dedication and craftsmanship.
During the summer months, the church doubles as an art exhibit space, creating an engaging blend of history and contemporary culture. Remember to dress respectfully when you visit; beachwear or revealing clothing is not suitable.
Take your time to marvel at the elaborate carvings on the stair stones and the captivating artwork adorning the altar surrounds and ceiling. In spite of its popularity, the church maintains a tranquil and spiritually uplifting atmosphere.
Consider timing your visit during a mass for a truly inspiring experience. Following the service, relax in the serene church garden, a space contrasting the historic church with a neighboring modern hotel.
The Church and Parish of St. Cross is conveniently located near many other attractions. Don’t confuse it with the Church of St. Cross on the southern peninsula. Its frequent open hours make it an ideal spot for spontaneous visitors.
- Working Hours: Open most of the time.
- Ticket Prices: Free.
- Exploration Time: Around 1 hour.
- Dress Code: No beach or revealing clothing. Scarves are provided for cover up.
- The intricate baroque rosette and altar dedicated to St. Cross.
- The stunning bell tower, crafted over 20 years.
- The artwork on the altar surrounds and ceiling.
- The summer art exhibits within the church.
- The serene church garden, juxtaposed next to a modern hotel.
- Attending a mass for a unique spiritual experience.
After a spiritual morning at the Church and Parish of St. Cross, make your way to the historic Čorić Tower. Situated strategically on Mirka Zore 19 Street in Vodice, this towering monument is a captivating sight. Its history dates back to 1533, and its stones were painstakingly sourced from the island of Brač.
Previously a residence that saw multiple owners, the tower unfortunately does not allow interior tours due to its current condition. However, it still makes for an impressive backdrop for memorable vacation photographs.
The true magic of Čorić Tower is revealed during the summer months when its courtyard transforms into an open-air cinema under the starlit sky. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and immerse yourself in this enchanting cultural experience.
Although there’s no fee to visit since the tower isn’t open for exploration, it’s worth taking the time to bask in the ambience and enjoy a movie in this unforgettable setting.
- Working Hours: Open 24/7
- Ticket Prices: Free of charge
- Exploration Time: About 30 minutes
- Recommendations: Bring a picnic blanket for the open-air cinema experience during the summer months.
- Marvel at the Čorić Tower, a historic landmark with stones sourced from the island of Brač.
- Capture memorable photos against the backdrop of the tower.
- Enjoy an open-air cinema experience in the courtyard during the summer months.
Mid-Morning Activity – Visit to Our Lady of Carmel Church
Elevate your Vodice day trip experience by visiting the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Nestled atop the 135m high Okit Hill, this church offers a breathtaking journey both physically and spiritually. The church’s roots trace back to the 17th century. Despite suffering destruction during World War II and the Homeland War, it was resiliently rebuilt.
The present structure, still under construction and initiated in 1995 by architect Nikola Bašić, stands as a unique symbol of resilience. Although the climb to the church might seem steep, it’s well worth the effort, rewarding visitors with panoramic views and an enveloping sense of tranquility. Adding to the spiritual journey, the hillside path features fourteen chapels, representing the Way of the Cross.
Every year on July 16th, the Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a procession and Holy Mass accentuate the location’s spiritual appeal.
However, remember that while free parking is available at the base, the narrow mountain road can get congested during peak times. Additionally, the church may not always be open for interior viewing. While there are no restroom facilities on site, the breathtaking beauty, peace, and quiet make it an unmissable visit.
- Working Hours: Irregular, might be closed for inside viewing.
- Ticket Prices: Free.
- Exploration Time: About 3 hours, including the climb. If you don’t want to walk the entire way, you can take a taxi to shorten the trip.
- Preparation: Wear comfortable shoes suitable for a steep climb.
- The panoramic views from Okit Hill.
- The unique design of the church, symbolizing resilience.
- The spiritual journey along the path lined with fourteen chapels representing the Way of the Cross.
- Participating in the annual procession and Holy Mass on the Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16th).
- The tranquility and peace experienced at the site.
Lunch Spot – Two Alternatives
Restoran & Pizzeria Šimun
Brief Description: Restoran & Pizzeria Šimun is a family-owned restaurant located in the center of Vodice. They offer great service and pizza, as well as pasta and other dishes. The restaurant has a beautiful terrace where you can enjoy your meal.
Recommended Dishes: Some recommended dishes to try at Restoran & Pizzeria Šimun include pizza and pasta.
Practical Information: Restoran & Pizzeria Simun is located on Obala Juricev Ive Cote 26A in Vodice. The price range is around 15 € per person for a Western-style meal. The restaurant is open from 12 PM to 11 PM. It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during peak hours.
Brief Description: Buffet Pizza Tony is a restaurant located in Vodice that offers delicious pizza and has friendly and professional staff.
Recommended Dishes: Some recommended dishes to try at Buffet Pizza Tony include pizza.
Practical Information: Buffet Pizza Tony is located on Juricev I. Cota Obala 21 in Vodice. The price range is not specified, but reviewers have mentioned that the prices are friendly. The restaurant’s opening hours are not specified, but it is open for lunch and dinner. It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during peak hours.
Afternoon Visit – Male Vrulje Beach
Brief Description: Male Vrulje Beach is a family-friendly seaside spot known for its clear waters and pebbled and concrete surfaces. Equipped with amenities such as Wi-Fi, public showers, and loungers for rent, this beach promises a fun and comfortable day out. It also boasts a children’s playground and a beach volleyball court. For more alternatives, check out my article on the best beaches in Vodice.
- Family-friendly environment with a playground and beach volleyball court.
- Picturesque clear waters, perfect for swimming.
- Beach’s lighting system that illuminates the area at night.
- Local bars and restaurants nearby offering delightful local cuisine.
- Open 24/7, free admission.
- Due to the presence of sea urchins, it is advisable to wear bathing shoes.
- The beach can get crowded during the summer season.
- Ample parking space is available for those arriving by car.
Late Afternoon Activity – Kayaking
Brief Description: Experience Vodice from a new perspective with a thrilling kayaking adventure. Rent a kayak from Bluewind Adventure or take a guided tour with Karika Vodice, offering varying levels of difficulty to match your fitness. Explore the island of Prvić or dare to venture to the fortress of St. Nicholas. No matter your choice, exciting activities like sightseeing, snorkeling, and swimming await you.
- Chance to paddle your way to the island of Prvić or the fortress of St. Nicholas.
- Inclusive experience with equipment such as a map, a life jacket, and a waterproof bag provided.
- Flexible options accommodating different fitness levels and duration preferences.
- Knowledgeable tour guides who can enrich your adventure.
- Working Hours: 8 AM – 8 PM.
- Ticket Prices: 15 € – 70 € based on the tour and duration.
- Preparation: Wear sea shoes to protect against stony beaches and sea urchins.
- Communication: The rental service communicates best through SMS or phone.
Dinner Spot – Two Alternatives
Brief Description: Arausa is a seafood restaurant in Vodice, that offers a great selection of seafood and wild fish. The staff is friendly and welcoming.
Recommended Dishes: Some recommended dishes to try at Arausa include mussels buzara and seafood.
Practical Information: Arausa is located on Obala Matice Hrvatske 8 in Vodice. Arausa is not the most budget-friendly restaurant in Vodice, but it’s also not the most expensive either. The restaurant’s opening hours are from 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM. It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during peak hours.
Konoba Tri Piruna
Brief Description: Konoba Tri Piruna is a traditional Dalmatian restaurant in Vodice, that offers fresh and healthy seafood, homegrown bio food, olive extra-virgin oil, and local wines from sunny vineyards.
Recommended Dishes: Some recommended dishes to try at Konoba Tri Piruna include seafood and grilled specialties such as barbecued lamb.
Practical Information: Konoba Tri Piruna is located on Roca Pave 5 Street in Vodice. Konoba Tri Piruna is also a mid-ranged restaurant when it comes to prices. The restaurant is open from 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM during the season (May 15th to October 15th). It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during peak hours.
Evening Entertainment – Stroll along the Vodice Riva Promenade and Marina
Brief Description: After a day full of adventures, relax and unwind with a leisurely stroll along the Vodice Riva Promenade and Marina. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this bustling waterfront, home to numerous cafes, restaurants, and ice cream parlors. Marvel at the moored boats, and take in the stunning view of the sea and the islands, all under the enchanting glow of the setting sun.
- The vibrant atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after an active day.
- A variety of eateries and cafes, offering delicious meals, refreshing drinks, and delectable ice creams.
- The picturesque view of the marina, especially at sunset.
- Opportunities for people-watching and soaking up the local vibe.
- The promenade is open 24/7 with no entry fee.
- Cafes and restaurants on the promenade have varying operating hours; check individually.
- The area is wheelchair accessible.
- Parking can be challenging during peak hours; consider walking or using public transport.